Monday, November 29, 2010


Life is filled with lessons. Every day, we are subjected to diverse experiences from which we (at least the more reflective ones among us) pick some pieces of wit, wisdom or even folly. It’s like someone walks ahead of us on the paths we’re destined to toe, littering the way with pieces of insight and knowledge for us to pick. It is the sum total of all that we picked (and did not lose on the way) that is referred to as wisdom or depth or insight-fullness (pun intended).

A few days ago, I was stuck in a notably terrible traffic jam, and it was none of my business. I was going the other way, but I had to go make a U-turn somewhere in front so I had to partake of cake wey no concern me. I no use tape-rule measure am, but it must have been about 80 kilometers long. It was the get-out-of-your-car-and-make-some-friends brand of traffic and the weather was insanely hot, as if the sun was also protesting. Horns were blaring, though I wonder why, ‘cos nobody was going anywhere. Tempers, of course were flaring (like gas in South-South…haha) and you’d have thought it was raining, with the way I was soaked in sweat (no A/C, except I wan push car) and the mirror told me I looked like shit so bad I could have scared shit. Sad. (now, you’re prob'ly thinking; so what?)

Well, it appeared that while we were all busy cursing the 'irresponsible' government (like we always do) over the poor traffic management, some people were not in the least bit unhappy about the jam – the hawkers. They were just busy running all over the place distributing (in exchange for money, of course) recharge cards, drinks and so on. I’m sure they must have been silently thanking God, for this great answer to their prayers a la baby-whale-washed -ashore-at-one-beach-some-years-back. By the way, here’s some business advice, with the way fuel was running out in some cars, I think it might be a wise biz idea to start hawking petrol in traffic prone zones.

End of story.
Actually, not yet.
Not even nearly.

After keeping shut and watching for ten minutes, I saw that the number of hawkers had almost doubled, and they all seemed delighted (in a busy way) that they were making such brisk business. Here’s where it concerns you; when the cause of the hold-up (a trailer that broke down due to an avoidable fault) was solved and the jam was eased, the traders who had been having such a good time suddenly were in the wrong place, and became the unhappy folk, while we erstwhile spitters, sweaters and cursers (abi na cursors? lol) were now in the enviable position of saying “thank God”. Luck don change. Well, since I have stupidly decided to title this piece “Life's Lessons” or something like that, I guess I now have to share the moral of my experience…which is what I'll proceed to do now.

One, as a general rule, luck doesn’t change gradually, it swings. If it changes steadily, it is most likely a decline caused by some fault on someone’s part, not Mother Luck. She moves away from your side so fast you wonder what it was you said.

Two, do you recall one poem I wrote - “On Rue de Reverie”? Permit me to quote a line; “there’s no soup so sweet that it can’t swing sour”. I’ll modify that here, “there’s no soup so sweet that it isn’t still sour”. Run a philosophy check, you’ll find that it’s square. While that hold-up was annoying for me, it was a blessing in disguise for the traders. (Of course, I know I could just as easily have quoted “one man’s meat is another’s poison” but I gotta publicize my poetry now). Even on the same tongue, some buds taste bitter, some sweet, and some sour. Call it the Parable of the Tongue.

Three, whenever you feel bad about something you’ve done and its potential effect on others, cheer up. No matter how bad it is, at least one other person will like your action (or inaction), even if it’s just the devil. Note that this applies vice-versa, so when you’re thinking of that league title FC Barcelona won, don’t forget that Real Madrid fans exist.
Four, now this is fourny (funny), though not necessarily in the sense of being hilarious, but more because it’s twisted. Imagine, for a moment, that I was on my way to do something immoral like, say, screw somebody’s wife who used to be my girlfriend and still thinks I’m an unmatchable tiger in that department, and because of the traffic I couldn’t make it her place before her husband got back home, and she called to tell me not to come and come any longer... (MAD DULLING, UHN?) That would have left me with another reason to be unhappy, but it would have made God happy, and the Devil unhappy. It would have left the woman sexually frustrated (call that blue eggs, blue tubes, blue p***y...or something like that) and her husband happy, though he wouldn’t have known that he had a reason to be happy. If however he had been planning to leave his wife, and was just hoping for her to misbehave, he’d have had a reason to be unhappy, since that would have hindered his plan to marry his secretary, or whoever it was he was screwing. Also, what if I had promised to buy drinks for some young guys in the neighborhood, but decided against it that night because I was annoyed at the traffic that screwed my screw?

Here’s the lesson, your silly act or omission, however simple it looks, will affect a million people directly or otherwise. Some do not even know that it has affected their decisions and emotions in some way or another. Also, depending on who you worship, every action you take is a chance to please God and displease the devil (and vice-versa).

Five, because of the traffic, I could not fornicate with the lady THAT DAY. That doesn’t mean I won’t do so some other day, when her husband is away and there’s no traffic to hinder my arrival at her place. Lesson learnt: some things will just happen, no matter how long you delay them. The effects of your actions might delay some events, such as the man catching me on top of his wife, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen sometime soon. Especially considering that I’m going there tomorrow (hope there’s no traffic)

Six, I’m rather a sick fellow to have written that story…drawing from just simple traffic that was not even as bad as I painted it to be. Lesson: life is like me, it takes your little indiscretions or whatever else, and makes a baby (literally or figuratively) out of it.

Seven, I believe that life is very much like traffic jam. Some complain, some celebrate, some hiss, some kiss…you know, and so on. But there’s one category of people that always benefit from traffic…

…The Lesson Learners.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


From time immemorial, man has often made the grievous mistake of intertwining or blending politics with religion. This myopic, and usually self-serving error has always led to uncomely, and at times disastrous consequences for these two aspects of human existence.

It is a long settled fact that man is a political animal, if we all subscribe to argumentum ad Aristotelium. It is also well established that man is a spiritual being...for the people who are dumb enough not to be as 'intellectually discerning' as atheists. Man's endeavours in both areas have always existed, and permit me to assume, will always exist for as long as we keep having sex; i.e. as long as we don't go extinct for failing to 'be fruitful, to multiply the earth, and to replenish it. Back to the music, man's perennial marriage of politics and religion has never really augured well for human communities, be they states, kingdoms empires or whatever else, and the effects are self evident, for those who have been conscious enough to know-tice.

Let's take a trip up memory lane, (yeah, we've been going down ever since) one that is bound to open blind - deliberately or otherwise - eyes to the truth of the dangers of making that ever so toxic potion of politics and spirituality.
In the medieval era, popes were de facto rulers...gods, in fact (maybe because "the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ"...whose representatives they were, dig?) and understandably so, since they practically controlled two principal fields of societal influence...the political and the religious. For instance, take the case of the Alexander VI (Borgia) papacy (which, by the way, was intended to be made into a dynasty) where political subterfuge, moral intrigue and self-aggrandizing authoritarianism were the order of the day.

Also, an examination of pre-colonial political systems in sub-Saharan Africa will show a prevalence of kings who doubled as spiritual fathers, and were practically unquestionable (forget that Alaafin-Oyomesi checks and balances thing; it applied to the Alafin, who wielded only political power, definitely not the Ooni, who had a blend of both, and was not responsible to any person or group). Multiple other instances abound of such situations of absolute power, which often resulted in monumental abuse of power..."absolute power corrupts", anyone?

What was, or are, the factors that made all those political cum religious leadership arrangements so faulty, and which makes such set-ups undesirable in modern politics? The answer is fundamental. Politics, by its very nature and considering its social role, should be handled in a highly rational manner, free from the clouds of sentiments as much as possible...for the greatest good of the community. The basis of religion, on the other hand is Faith. If I were to go by the biblical (Hebrews 11:1) definition of faith; then we're talking about a concept or area of human pursuit whose hallmark is Irrationality (sorry to have to put it in this so-blunt-it's-offensive way, but it's the plain truth). Politics has the good of man (through contract theory, anyone?) at its centre, while religion places an all-knowing, all-seeing unseen deity who is absolutely beyond question or redress at its centre (or top, whichever)...little wonder it is then, that any marriage between the two always ends in disaster. It always affects both greatly; efficiency and sensibility in politics becomes grossly impaired, while the purity and truth of religion is almost irredeemably eroded (Roman Catholic again, locus classicus on the point). Why man finds it so difficult to divorce them is therefore so amazing, or is it just that 'opposites attract' thing?

Thank goodness (would have said 'God', but er...'m not supposed to mix religion with my politics) that most societies in the modern world have had the good sense to separate, officially at least, the 'Church' from the State. In some nations where this is yet to happen, we still see authoritarian rule and somewhat unfettered abuse of power.

Now let me bring this piece home, so you can better appreciate its practical import. In Nigeria, though both are formally separated, the role of religion in politics must not be underestimated. For example, what binds the whole of the northern region (which accounts for about half of Nigeria's land/population mass) together is mainly religion, forget ethnicity. The way it seems to work there generally (exceptions permitted, of course) is that the man whom the religious leaders endorse almost invariably gets the political office. It appears that what we've done is to disguise politics as religion and vice-versa depending on what the occasion demands...thus switching garbs without officially tying them together. In other words, politics is fucking with religion (pardon my French, fornicating with religion). This is a major reason for most of the 'religious' crises in the country such as in Kaduna, and more frequently, Jos. This is why, in the forthcoming general elections in 2011, many people will vote for a candidate of their religious persuasion, or one whom their spiritual leader has endorsed, expressly or impliedly. And even if Mr. Father-in-the-faith tells them to vote for a glaringly wrong candidate (like, say, IBB) they'll do just that, since it must be the will of God. For the life of me, I'm wondering; could it possibly be the will of God to elect a senator or representative who, since 2007 has not moved a single bill or offered a single original opinion on the floor of the House, either due to lack of ideas or for political self-preservation or both? Could it be the divine desire to re-elect a governor who is no better than the as-good-as-dead President, because he hasn't done anything appreciable enough to be called a "dividend of democracy" (that so-clichéd-it's-a-joke phrase, uh?) As if constructing a road or renovating classrooms or patching roads is equal to doing us a favour.

Before I digress too far, let me state my point as clearly as I possibly can (with my sore throat and all, haha). 2011 is almost here, PLEASE (raised to the power of 150million) do not let extraneous considerations such as a candidate's religious inclinations becloud your sense of judgement in deciding whether or not to vote for him/her. Also, let the person's track record and ideologies, as against your pastor or Imam's opinion, speak for him/her. Don't keep creating an enabling environment for the church/mosque/shrine to keep being fucked over by the politicians...because religion is a potent poison, a deadly serum, which, if applied on the tip of that arrow called politics...will take no prisoners.

"Abo oro la'an so fun omoluabi, to ba de inu re, aa di odindin"...Enough said!

Monday, January 25, 2010

“It’s Really None of Your Business”

Yes, that’s exactly what the PDP (Power-Drunk Politicians, as someone called them) leadership has been telling us in many ways over the past few weeks (months, actually) with respect to the matter of our ill-to-the-point-of-death (or dead?) 'President' Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
They have fed us with all sorts of stories (tales by moonlight, haha), which in the end still comes down to one thing; it is none of our business what happens (or does not happen) at the highest leadership cadre in the country, and we do not exactly have a right to know the whereabouts or whatever-else-there-is-to-know of our President.

They are probably right, at least Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999, which provides for inalienable fundamental human rights makes no such provision or stipulation...neither does the CFRN 1999 in any place make mention of any civic duty that creates an obligation to have accurate information on the leaders (the President in particular) of our nation per time, especially as regards their location and state of health.

Looking at the foregoing, and considering that our role in bringing the said man to power was not as central as the Constitution would have had it be, it is reasonable to say that the PDP-led government has even gone beyond the call of duty by feeding us with irritating untruths over the past weeks, and for this we should be thankful, rather than berate them for their alleged irresponsibility (yes, alleged...they’ve done nothing wrong).

It is none of our business, really. I mean, the man is not your father, son or brother so where do you really figure in the whole formation? Those who needed to be kept informed, I’m certain were always fully in the know and have (or owe) no apologies for keeping their knowledge secret. Forget the little matter that the man swore an oath to us (yes, Nigeria and its people) to carry out his duties faithfully and all that boilerplate.

Hey, see me talking about oaths sworn to the ‘good’ people of Nigeria. I mean, the man couldn’t perform his duties any longer, yet the Constitutional provision was not adhered to (as if we ever really follow the book sef). Even that is none of our business, or so PDP thinks. A sovereign nation (who in its infinite vanity loves to be referred to as the “Giant of Africa”) was practically left without a President, in the way it would happen in a sole proprietorship business when the owner is ill. Speaking of business, that is also unfortunately none of our business. That’s why our elected representatives did nothing about the matter, abi? God punish dem!
Now, they say he is dead (or brain-damaged, like there’s any difference). Is that any of my business? Hell, no...! And interestingly, he is said to have passed on (to the not-so-great-beyond of brain damage) on the 10th of December; when we in my church (where we felt it was our business) were still busy praying for him to get well. Maybe it was our ignorance that made our prayers go unanswered...LOL (forgive my black humour).

Of course, none of all that is your business, nothing that happens in leadership in the country is your business. Yes, it is their business (whoever they are), abi dem don call you for AGM to share profits before?

So, here I say; “to your tents oh Nigeria”. Go and face your businesses o, and stop poking your black noses in the private affairs of a family man (especially one who’s ‘late’) in the name of being interested in the whereabouts of your President.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Good day Mr. Chairman (that's me), Panel of Judges (who dem be?), accurate time-keeper (this is my blog and my time can never be up here, okay?), my co-debaters (if any) and my esteemed audience. My name is Joba Akinola (really?), representing young Naija writers (whatever that means). I am here to support the motion which is; “Writing about Nigeria is outrageously easy!” I hope that by the time I’m done, you’ll be so convinced that you’ll forget about writing that piece you intended about Nigeria and go for something more intellectually challenging (and not so depressing).

It is soooooooooo (that’s not a typo) easy to write about Nigeria! Or haven’t you ever wondered why everybody who writes essays and stuff seems to have an article (or fifty, actually) on Nigeria and her numerous woes and multi-faceted problems (yeah, don’t read that as challenges, they are now full-blown problems...all of them). I mean, there are countless critical compositions (eh, alliteration intended) centrally concerned (haha, I never finish) with this country and the social, economic, political (and all the other ‘al’s) issues by which this con-try (sorry, country) is beset.

The problems are so plentiful that one would wonder if Osama bin Laden or somebody else somewhere has some kind of weapon of mass destruction that inflicts social and political diseases. Well, that is the reason why writing a book on Nigeria and her problems requires no serious research, meditation or even time! You can write on the go (if the bad roads will permit) without getting distracted, because your material is inspiration is ridiculously cheap. I’ve been on the writer’s block a few times, my first step out each time was with a Naija-inspired piece (Reuben Abati can’t beat me for saying ‘Naija’)...writing about Nigeria is easy.

Well, it just got even easier. A lot more, actually. Before, one had to exercise some care and discretion in his selection, (rhyme...all the but now all you have to do is pick any derogatory term or even invective, and it will just fit...naturally. Consider it; ‘mad’, ‘sick’, et al...they all just seem befitting. The latest one I heard (read, actually) which got me to write this article, was ‘brain-dead’ (obviously a not-so-masked reference to our That had me chortling, but without mirth...then it sent me thinking. And yes, just like writing, thinking about Naija is easy.

Writing about Nigeria is so easy that even other countries are now writing about us. I bet whoever wrote the communiqué which saw Barrack Obama labelling us a ‘terrorist’ nation did not break a sweat, even though he was writing about a sovereign nation. He knew it would be an apt description (and see, don’t even think of blaming that stupid Farouk boy) so he used it...and of course the Obama guy liked it too, seeing how it fit snugly.

By the way,when we heard, what did we say? We started 'forming vexing' (even when we were aware that the designation was spot-on). Come, what were we expecting? For them to label us a ‘terrific’ nation, or what? US no even try, dem for don put ‘terrible’ before ‘terrorist’...abi shey e no fit us ni? Anyway, when they labelled (trust me, that wasn’t no libel, haha) us a terrorist nation, it was their President who did it, but who did the talking for us? We have no President, (sorry, we have we one, we just don’t know where he is) and every other thing seems to be wrong with us, so why won’t writing be so easy? Psheew!

I’m too tired right now to pick issues with any issue or person, so don’t even bother trying to anticipate the end of this piece or its focus, because there is none...I just did this because it was easy, dig? Hell, I didn’t even have to Google anything this time around, (obviously things are getting worse) so this was even easier than the usual ‘Naija-whine’ piece. Eh, don’t expect things to get better...or any change to come (obviously Sam Cooke wasn’t talking ‘bout us).
With these few points of mine, I hope I have been able to convince and not to confuse you that it is extremely, disgustingly easy to write about Naija (yes, Naija) easy, we probably should all just stop writing.

P.S: Don't bother telling me anything, I’m pleading ‘altered state’ here o! I just heard about the brain damage matter, (or brain matter damage, whatever) so I decided to convince myself that it was not a national epidemic. I’m not lol-ing...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 is almost dead.
2010 is about to be read.
2009 is all but fully said
2010 is about to get heard...

NOTE: This (not the quatrain above, of course) is rather lengthy, I know. You really don’t have to read everything...because I wrote this primarily for me...and the me in you!

This year was not a particularly lovely year (most especially cheddar-ly). Everybody seemed not to really be in love with the damn year, and I know a few people who cannot wait for it to just end (guess they think it’s jinxed or something). Well, it’s going to end anyway (I don’t think Jesus is coming before the 31st)...and I’m looking forward with expectation (not faint hope) to the new year because I’ve created it and seen the preview before now, (you don’t want to know all’s not really your business anyway) so for me it is just a waiting, no, preparing game. I’m not here to talk about ’10, that can wait for a few days; I’m still tying up the loose ends of the passing year...and this one must be taken care of NOW.

My immediate business is the traditional stock-taking that accompanies the twilight of each year and yes, I’m posting on Facebook (at least the aspects I think you might care for). Though I’m not a very emotional person (yeah, like most males claim), I might end up sniffling if I begin to reflect on the past year...but eh, who says I must not? At least I’m alone, and it’s 1:56 am. So let’s go...lights...mirror...REFLECTION!!! (or should I say “SPEECH”!!!)

The passing year has been a period in which I have experienced remarkable growth in diverse spheres of my life. I had ups and borehole-low downs. I had my fair share of the sad and the glad. I had good and I had the too bad-not-to-be-a-movie experiences. Point is, left or right, tight or shight, (lemme coin that, abeg) what I experienced most this year was just that – experiences...and eh, isn’t that what adult growth is about?

Spiritually, I have matured tremendously, and I thank God for that (don’t raise your eyebrows, I know what I mean). My life is set on a straight course towards destiny, which I couldn’t really have said about myself before this departing year. I have acquired (and I’m nurturing) some relationships...and that’s a key aspect of anybody’s life, except you’re as alive as the year 2009. Financially, can still do something about that, my acc. no. is... (inbox me if you really want it). Need I say more?

I’m not following any laid-down format, but I must appreciate God (I do that everyday) for His mercies over the past months. This dude had a couple of close shaves and too many to mention “if not for...” situations. I know (epignosis, not even pistis) that my steps were divinely ordered even when I not so wisely miswaka-ed on some funny trips...He didn’t let me trip, let alone fall. Awesome God, na you o!

Here I just want to acknowledge with great gratitude and profound respect, the people who have made themselves special to me in the dying year, and who in doing so made an otherwise ordinary year a memorable one for me. They have made me laugh, think, think some more and cry a little...and even if the crying didn’t do me any good, flushed my eyes!

I’m still pondering whether to name names or not...maybe I should not (truth is, in the draft, I named people, and ended up using two pages just for that). If you belong to that category, you know yourself (yes, you belong!). My folks, you are the best family in the whole world, at least the most suitable for me! My guys, I love y’all die! But eh “let’s get one thing STRAIGHT, I’ll never...” (Ofla, finish that for Those who read and appreciate my writes on Facebook and elsewhere, I really hold you guys close to my guys are the ink to my pen. The applause always rings in my heart, and yeah, it’s a rather beautiful melody to me. Your gifts won’t ever go unnoticed in Jesus’ name. Amen (even if you no wan talk am, I don talk am for you).

Also, please forgive me if I’ve not been a good dude in your book this year...I’ll try better next year. All my shortcomings in ’09 are being considered and will be dealt with accordingly (such an official, customer care-ish tone, uh?). Those wey I no call as I suppose, wey I no s’aye for as I for like, wey I no give birthday gifts this year, just wait and see, ’09 is gonna be a cash splash...I believe (pistis now, please).

So now it is 3:02 am and yes, I’ve finished all that, at least the part that concerns you...directly or otherwise. I’m forgetting the ’09 behind and with ’10 in focus; I press toward the mark...yea! ’10 smells good, and I can’t wait to have a taste of her. You nko? And eh, please don’t ask me if I have a New Year resolution, I stopped those four years ago.

P.S: I was single all through this ’09 (officially)...someone should please tell that girl (she knows herself) to turn on the green lights so I can change my relationship status!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


So now the strike has been called off, or at least they plan to. So? What if? They are now making it look as if they love us so much that, out of the goodness of their large hearts; they've decided to put an end to our collective misery. Like I give a damn.

I'm usually not a ranter, but I'm so stressed out today, and they are the only ones in my line of I'll take a shot, better still a barrage at the lost, blind people who claim to be our leaders in this near failed state called Nigeria. Yes, I said so, and if you don't like that line, go stuff your oral orifice with faeces-laced tissue paper (enough to make you choke), because I'm going to keep firing at these people as vigorously as my weak fingers can manage.

Now that ASUU has suspended (they may resume later, hopefully I'll be done by then) the industrial action on which it embarked over three months ago, what do they expect us to do? Flood the streets with drums and singing to appreciate the Government (whatever that means) for being benevolent and merciful to our plight. Or to craft beautiful poetry to eulogize their lofty intervention. Permit me to say this, but really...FUCK 'EM ALL!!!

It will probably be splashed all over the dailies by Tuesday that the "Great Nigerian Students" are returning to their schools. The big question here is, what exactly are we going back to? The same dilapidated classrooms, and anything-but-conducive school environment? Back to the arms of our insecure host communities, probably to meet our long-left rooms already burgled? See, it might seem like good news to you that our holidays are over and schools are resuming, but honestly I don't give a shit, for there is nothing to celebrate in the whole spectacle.

In the paper today, I saw the most irresponsible man in the world; the Minister of Education (who also doubles as my nominee for worst minister ever) sitting beside Comrade Adams Oshiomole (who by the way, is just out to score a few brownie points), with a we-have-worked-so-hard-achieve-this look on his silly face, everybody just trying to look like the messiah of the students. I felt like spitting at the picture. That's my own personal dispreference anyway, and you don't have to share it.

Now you're probably wondering; "what is this dude saying?" Here is my grouse, why did we have to go on a strike that yielded no benefits, either for the lecturers or the students, or even for the sector itself? Mad, isn't it? That's what we've become in this nation...MAD! So we just threw away three months of the lives of some old supposed-to-be-married students for nothing? Nothing at all gained, except of course that I made a few bucks and got busy on some things I otherwise wouldn't have been on. On a national scale therefore, this strike cannot be said to have accomplished anything substantial, and we are all happy that it's been called off.

I expect a repeat (maybe longer) performance of this is a year or two. PSEEEW!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


WARNING: This piece may be considered rather long and therefore boring, and reader discretion is advised for people who do not fancy lengthy newspaper editorials, the politically apathetic, and those who are privileged to have their abode in the beautiful Lagos State.
The following classes of people may find this article extremely offensive.
i. The Governor of Ogun State and his family members
ii. Political office holders who are his cronies
iii. Unrealistic individuals who love this man
iv. Lovers of bad governance all over the world.

Nobody in my family can exactly be referred to as an avid political observer or a passionate socio-political commentator, (including my Dad and I) but there is one political topic that always get's everybody in my house interested, the mention of which sees everybody contributing humorously, and at times, vigorously and bitterly. It is the matter of our 'amiable governor', the governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel who is currently serving his second term.I stay in Ota, so if you are even slightly familiar with on-goings in that town, and the general feelings of inhabitants towards the man, you should already understand that the heading of this piece is ultra-ironic (even the blind can see).

It is practically impossible to drive anywhere in Ogun State without making mention of OGD's (as he calls himself) name, for two reasons. Firstly, the roads are in such a horrible state of disrepair that even the most apathetic citizen will instantly be transformed into a socio-political activist by just taking a ride through say, Ilo-Awela Road. Damn (forgive my language) that road is terribly terrible. Many dead okada riders will serve as testimony (though not as witnesses, unfortunately) to that fact, as that road drove some trailer-drivers to shove them into their untimely graves. Now don't get me wrong, this man actually does construct roads through his pet agency – OGROMA (Otunba Gbenga Rolling Money Away, according to Mr. Ogunsakin), but the problem is that the roads are so substandard that a week or two after construction, they start getting bad, and a few months after, there is almost no sign that the road was ever tarred.

The second reason is that the state is painted all over in OGD (whatever color that is). Everywhere you go (apologies to MTN) there's always a billboard with the man's ever-smiling (I wonder what's so funny) face, his popular slogan "... a secured future", and some silly self-praising punchlines that would make Jay-Z envious. The guy is so good at those things, he should have been a rapper (oh, sorry I forgot...he doesn't do those things himself; they're always erected by some faceless movement, or a local government). I'm just going to tell you some stories about this (satanically) enigmatic man which you might find interesting (though I don't find them funny at all).

'Sometimes' (haha, very funny) in August, I went to Agbara Estate with my 'bros' who is a lawyer, who also doesn't like OGD that much (he detests him, actually). On our way, we saw a billboard, at Lusada market with the line “Ride on OGD, we’ve never had it so good”. The most interesting thing about this billboard was that it was located right in front of a ditch-deep pothole. We laughed about this for some time, as we proceeded on our journey. The journey was without event till we got somewhere, where we saw another billboard with the powerful hook; “OGD news, good news”. This elicited no comment from anybody, just sneers, which was what that deserved, anyway. There are a lot of these billboards all over Abeokuta, but I will say nothing since the place is relatively good (road-wise at least). There are also myriads of them in Ijebu-North Local Government Area, but that’s easy to understand, considering that the man is from there.

Speaking of LGA’s let’s get back to base, my own LGA – Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area. Right in front of the secretariat is a billboard that reads “CYT like OGD” (i.e. the Local Govt. Chairman…the Governor). The stretch of road off which this secretariat is situate, lying and being along is a pothole mat; it is practically impossible (except you’re a fayawo) to exceed 20kmp/h on that road. I’m not exaggerating. The secretariat has a big broken portion on its fence, which has remained that way for many months and Mr. CYT (who is like OGD) has not even though it fit to fix it. Isn’t that crazily irresponsible?

At Ilisan-Remo roundabout is another pro-OGD billboard with a picture of his cap (can you beat that?) with a tagline “the symbol…he must be encouraged…he must be appreciated…” The road at this point is good but shortly after the billboard, the tar disappears and gives way to a dusty, bumpy, gravelly road. He must be appreciated indeed. Yeye.

Now the one that takes the cake is the OGD – Yar’ Adua collabo, located at that Abeokuta-Papalanto-Sagamu roundabout. It is so goddamn hilarious. I saw it when I was going to pick my sister, Moji from school a few weeks ago. I couldn’t stop talking about it until I got to Ikenne. The punchline here was merely a merger of their trademark slogans, but I found it thoroughly amusing because it struck me as a disgraceful testament, a documented monument to governmental failure at both national and state levels. Super-shameful. It read; “Partnership That Works: 7 point Agenda for a Secured Future”. Imagine that (Jay-Z and R. Kelly on the flow…best of both tiers).

One day at the State High Court, Ota, which by the way is the most dilapidated and unkempt courthouse I’ve seen anywhere (not that I’ve seen too many), I was discussing with some fellow law students who were also at home under the ignominious auspices of this ungodly industrial action (ASUU strike). I was singing OGD’s praises (like I always do) when somebody made a remark about the man having a part-time job as a Chief Priest of a secret cult (no be me talk am o!). The guy said that it was that job that was hindering our esteemed Governor from discharging his gubernatorial duties with all propriety and diligence. I remember that someone noted (that must have been me) that there is nothing in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that prohibits a Chief Priest from becoming a Governor, or vice-versa; so our man is still in order. No story.

I heard (actually saw a newspaper headline) that OGD accused the Lagos State Government of fuelling the crisis in Ogun State (by setting high standards, I think). To imagine that he could have said that, when this Governor of ours is said to live in Lagos! If that is true, then his coke addiction must be taking its toll on him; his mind seems to be taking a rather bad turn. Please believers, pray for him…as for me, my faith is weak.

This man must be given a lot of credit for some things, though. For one, he has revolutionized the face of politics in Ogun State; every politician there seems to have a three letter moniker. He also brought about (popularized, actually) the billboard propaganda scheme. It is not uncommon therefore, to see billboards with names such as IOB, CYT, (and XYZ, PIG, DOG, haha). The rest of the acts of King OGD, the female House of Assembly ex-speaker whom he had (or is still having) an amorous affair with, and the members of the House whom he took to a shrine to swear an oath, fully naked, are they not written in the chronicles of the Governors of Ogun State (you may have to be a Bible student to catch my drift here). And eh, since the dude wants to be a rapper, let me give him a tip; he could just re-arrange the letters of his nickname to form GOD, since that’s who he obviously thinks he is (but he should just make sure Rakim doesn’t get him o).

On a parting note, if anybody would be so kind as to get this across to the man (without my name, of course), please this quote I just coined might be good;

“It is shameful enough to be bad, but worse to be shameless”.

P.S. Let me just tell another tale from this state, since I just wrote about its Governor. About five days ago, my Dad and I were on our way to church, when some TRACE (OGD’s version of LASTMA) pulled us over, and some funny- looking guy with extremely yellow teeth and a commensurate awful breath stuck his head through the window to ask why we didn’t have an “EMISSION CONTROL” sticker on our car. All through my stay in this state (that has spanned over 16 years) I had never heard of anything like that…and neither had my Dad. Trust my Dad, he almost went ballistic over what he considered to be a cheap government-backed extortion scheme, and which I considered (and still do) to be nothing but a scam (you needed to have seen the tout). Anyway he told us that they’d have to test our car and if we passed, we’d go and pay a sum of N1,250 at one green container in one funny place (like say space no dey secretariat). Dull scam, ko gbodo je mi. As he (tout) was still speaking, one chain smoker of a pick-up truck passed by us and it wasn’t stopped. My Dad asked why, and Mr. Tout was left speechless, then when he spoke, he said we could leave, that he just wanted to inform us. Psheew! This whole affair occurred beside a road-side buka (you can imagine all that smoke) on a bad road, and those ones were not cautioned either. Anyway, that’s Ogun State for you.

Rather long, uh? I warned you!